I understand the nomenclature of the phi and the psi angles of the alpha-Carbon atoms in protein stucture, but I am confused by the Ramachandran plot. Each alpha-Carbon atom (magenta) makes two peptide linkages and has two corresponding neighbouring alpha-Carbons (cyan) and side-chains. I would expect the psi and phi values to depend on the interactions of these side-chains, so I would expect that for a single amino acid one would need a separate graph for every possible combination of neighbouring amino acids.
I am not clear whether this the case. The following graph (1) from Harper, Biochemistry, is for “many non-glycine residues from many proteins”. So, suppose a set of phi and psi is allowed for a right-handed helix (a value or data set taken from the plot) does it mean that it is allowed for any amino acid with any other amino acid? I woud expect an alanine adacent to an alanine to have a different interaction to an alanine adjacent to a bulky amino acid such as isoleucine.
I have also seen plots for specific amino acid and their allowed angles, such as that for proline (2), above. This suggests that the neighbours are not being taken into account. If this is so, why not?